Sifu Peter Tam Hoy Biography
Sifu Peter Tam Hoy is of Chinese and Hawaiian descent and was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. His Chinese upbringing and the openness of the Hawaiian aloha spirit continue to have a strong influence in his life.
He was first introduced to Taijiquan in 1970 after returning from Air Force basic training. He quickly became dedicated to the study of Taijiquan. The initial five years of instruction took place under Master Sam Kekina and Master Tung HuLing at the Hsu Yun Buddhist Temple in Nuuanu valley not far from where he lived. There he learned the 108 Long Form, Fast Form, Push Hands, Da Lu, Double edged sword and Broadsword of the Tung family style.
The two decades following his time at the Hsu Yun Buddhist Temple, Sifu Tam Hoy continued to polish the Yang 108 form, push hands, Da Lu, self-defense techniques, as well as weapons and use of internal energy, under the guidance of Master Sam Kekina.
Beginning in the late 1980's, Sifu Tam Hoy began to broaden his understanding of the Traditional Yang Style of Taijiquan. After researching and seeing several different interpretations of the Yang form, he adopted Master Fu Zhongwen's standard of Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan. Master Fu Zhongwen's standard is widely regarded in China as the closest transmission of Master Yang Chenfu's Taijiquan. Sifu Tam Hoy follows this standard, including the Traditional Yang Style double edged sword and broadsword forms which he still teaches today. In 1991 Sifu Tam Hoy moved to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii where he continues to teach the Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan.
After moving to Hilo, Hawaii Sifu Tam Hoy studied for a brief time with Chen Style Master Ren Guang Yi . He learned the Lao Jia Yi Lu first form and Chan Su Chin (silk cocoon reeling exercise) of the Chen Style Taijiquan. Sifu Tam Hoy continues teaching the Chan Ssu Chin in his classes, using these exercises to help students better understand the spiraling pathways within their bodies.
Sifu Tam Hoy continues to further his knowledge and deepen his understanding of Taijiquan through continued research, practice and exchanges with those who are teachers and masters of the art. He has been fortunate to meet and work with several highly skilled masters and sifus from China, Taiwan and the USA, all of whom have had a deep and profound influence on his perception of what Taijiquan is in its essence.
Being able to interact, discuss, and practice with other skilled teachers and masters, Sifu Tam Hoy sees that all have their own nuances and personal understanding of the form and its principles. One factor has always emerged: all of the higher skilled masters primarily focus on the principles and internal aspects of Taijiquan rather than on an external form. Without a solid grasp of the underlying Taiji principles, the form is basically useless.
This understanding guides his efforts and teaching to focus on the principles and internal aspects of Taijiquan rather than just on the external form.
Sifu Tam Hoy continues to refine and research Yang Taijiquan as well as make contact and work with other teachers and masters.
He believes that if a student does not understand and embrace the principles and practice accordingly, they are not really practicing true Taijiquan but only a moving form that looks like Taijiquan.
The evolution of Sifu Tam Hoy’s practice and teaching style are due to the physical interactions and discussions with these masters and sifus throughout the years. Each of them has, and continues to have a profound influence in shaping his current perception and evolving understanding of the true essence of Taijiquan.